SYMBIOTIC FUTURES is a vision of the future in which we explore the language of trees through fungi and live in symbiosis with the forest. The designed tools would allow us to listen to the communication between trees. Insight in this communication can help us improve environmental health.
The Anthropocene is defined by us humans having a dominant impact on the climate and the environment. The disconnection of humans and the rest of nature is an essential part contributing to our planet’s destruction. This disconnection has to do with the concept we have of nature. If stories of human exceptionalism brought us to where we are today, might stories about living in symbiosis with nature bring us to a better future? This project explores one of those stories by using speculative design.
Fungi have networks of long threads hidden underneath the soil called mycelium. These networks form the internet of the forest and allow trees to communicate with each other. We explore:
1. Which trees are communicating?
2. What are they communicating?
3. What does that mean?
Tool #1 Is attached to trees. The tool traces the incoming and outgoing communication of the tree. It shows which trees are connected and whether the tree is sending or receiving information.
Tool #2 is plugged into the mycorrhizal mycelium hotspot that is connected to the trees that are communicating. The detected signals are transformed into a soundscape that can be heard and recorded.